So today is the first trip where I have to be at the airport at 4:30 in the afternoon instead of 4:30 in the morning. Already a good sign. I am meeting up with Georgette Jones and her assistant, Ashley Kohrs, at the Nashville airport where we will be leaving for the Faroe Islands Country and Blues Festival. The Faroe Islands are southeast of Iceland in the Arctic Ocean. I have never been to this area and am pretty excited. Georgette and Ashley make it to the airport before me and I meet them on the other side of security. We are traveling through Chicago, then to Copenhagen and on to the Faroe Islands. We have no issues and arrive in Copenhagen with all our bags. We have to change airlines in Copenhagen to Atlantic airlines that serve the Faroe Islands. We are told that they are in terminal 2 so we head that way, but cannot find the ticket counter. So I ask someone and they tell us it’s back in terminal 3, where we just came from. The only thing I can find is a kiosk where we can print our boarding passes and bag tags, but still can’t find the bag drop. Someone finally informs us that the ticket counter will not open until 2 hours prior to the flight, so we have a little bit of time to kill. Danni Leigh will be flying over leaving out of D.C. on the 9th, so I shoot Penny and my mom an email on what to expect when she arrives in Copenhagen. I am informed that Danni had dropped her phone in the toilet right before she was leaving for the airport. I would have freaked out. She has it in a bag of rice while she is traveling and hopefully it will still work when she arrives tomorrow. It is finally time to go and the flight goes smooth. Georgette is a little nervous because one of her friends had said that the runway there is very short and that there was a lot of turbulence. We had no turbulence and the runway had been extended so no issues. We are met by Allan Samuelson and Leila Falkvard who take us to the hotel which is right beside the airport. We get some dinner and get to know our new friends and then it’s time for a shower and some sleep. We have a 9 am rehearsal tomorrow for Georgette and it’s a little after midnight and it’s still daylight outside. This is going to take a little getting used to.
We get up in time to eat breakfast with Allan and he gets us over to rehearsal where we meet Hans-Olov “Hessy” Eriksson, Lena Noren, Andreas “EA” Olsson, Nicke Widen, Ola Soderberg, and Thomas Hagland. They are the Swedish band that will be backing Georgette and Danni for the shows. Georgette has worked with them before, so everything goes very smooth and we finish up around noon. Allan has to go into the capital city and he takes Georgette and Ashley with him so they can do a little sightseeing. They have plenty of time because she does not have to be at the venue until 10 pm. I have to go with Leila to meet Danni at the airport at 2, so I do not get to go sightseeing this afternoon. Danni arrives a little behind schedule but with no issues and her phone is still working – thank god. We get her to the hotel so she can get a shower and some rest. Allan and the girls make it back and we all meet in the restaurant at 7:30 for dinner before the show later tonight. We arrive at the festival around 10 pm for sound check and the show starts at 11. The festival has two stages going, a small stage and a main stage, where they alternate back and forth. Everyone moves over to the main stage and Georgette starts her show. The show goes great and the crowd is very in to it, a lot of drinking, dancing, and good times. The band did a great job. Georgette finishes around 12:30 am and we all sit down and have some beer and wine with our new friends before heading back to the hotel. Tomorrow we will have pretty much the same schedule for Danni.
After breakfast me, Allan, and Danni head over to rehearsal while Ashley and Georgette stay at the hotel to relax and recover. Everything goes great and we finish up a little after 1:00. We are supposed to be taking a boat ride at 1:00, so Allan has them hold off until 1:45 so we can make it. We arrive at the docks and begin what will be an outstanding trip. The Faroe’s are beautiful!! We are joined on the trip by the Mayor Sune Jacobsen and former prime minister Jorginho Niclasen, very cool of them to join us. We cruise out and our first stop is in a sea cave carved into the side of a cliff. The captain meticulously positions the boat inside the cave where we hang out for several minutes. While we were here the Icelandic artists sang a song to the Swedes. I can’t even put into words how very, very cool this was. I will never forget that experience, priceless. After leaving the cave we cruise back out and go to a waterfall falling into the ocean. Yeah it was as cool as it sounds. Our last stop is on a small island called Tindhólmur. You only get to go there by permission, so very special. They have lunch for us which included whale meat and blubber for everyone to try. Not this country boy!! I could tell by some of the reactions that it was stout. I stuck with the ham sandwiches. While we were eating Jorginho went out and caught a puffin for everyone to see. By the time he got back to us his hands were bleeding and had been crapped on all down the front of his shirt. That little puffin did a number on him, literally. The photographer that joined us, Thomas Vikre, took some stellar photos of our trip. Everyone should look at his Facebook page, beautiful photos of the Faroe Islands. After lunch we get back on the boat and head back to the docks. Again what an incredible experience. We arrive back at the hotel where we have time for some rest and dinner before sound check at 9:00 pm. Sound check goes good and Danni puts on a great show. The guys and gal in the band sounded great as well. The Faroese love country music and there is a lot of dancing and good times to be had by all. Leila and Allan took great care of us during our time here, and they put on a great festival. By the time we finish with everything it is after midnight and we have an early lobby call so we head on back to the hotel. Wish we would have had more time to hang out after the show.
7:45 am lobby call and everyone is dragging. Some of us had some breakfast and Allan meets us at 8:00 to take us to the airport. He has had only one hour of sleep and I feel so bad. I know he is exhausted, but he is all smiles and in great spirit. He makes sure we all get checked in and we take one last selfie before we have to say our goodbyes. Everyone we have met has been extraordinarily nice and welcoming. The world could learn a lot from the Faroese, what a great life they have! We leave the Faroe’s and land in Copenhagen. And get ready for the next leg of the journey home. We are flying on SAS from Copenhagen to Chicago. Not very impressed with this airline. I could and should go into a rant about our experience with them, but I will just say I will NEVER fly again with them because of an issue with a 20 cent coke. I am my mother’s son and I’ll leave it at that. We arrive in Chicago and get everyone through customs, which was surprisingly quick and painless. Danni’s bag did not get checked all the way through to D.C., so we got that fixed. She is leaving out of a different terminal so we say our goodbyes and go to our terminal for the last flight home to Nashville. We have a short 10 minute delay but get out of Chicago and still make it to Nashville on time. All of our bags arrive and I say goodbye to Georgette and Ashley. I am truly blessed and very thankful that I get to meet and spend time with such wonderful people and the experiences I get to share with them.